Colestipol hydrochloride (Colestid): Discontinuation

The funded brand of colestipol hydrochloride (Colestid), is being discontinued. People will need to change to an alternative medicine.

Affected product

Pfizer is discontinuing the following product:

  • Brand: Colestipol hydrochloride, (Colestid)
  • Pharmacode: 648450
  • Measure: Grans for oral liq 5 g

Colestipol hydrochloride (Colestid) listing in the Schedule(external link)

Alternative listed product

  • Brand: Colestyramine - Mylan
  • Pharmacode: 2662000
  • Measure: Powder for oral suspension 4 g sachet

Colestyramine listing in the Schedule(external link)

Our expert clinical advice indicates that Colestyramine is an appropriate alternative treatment for most people. People using Colestid will need to change to Colestyramine. 

Colestyramine was listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 September 2023. It is not Medsafe approved. People will need to see their doctor to get a prescription for colestyramine.  

Prescribing and supplying an unapproved medicine

Section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981 allows for medicines that are not Medsafe approved to be prescribed and supplied to people. The medicine must be prescribed by someone registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand – such as, a doctor. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. In this case, however, this will allow people to be able to access an appropriate treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Advice for prescribing under section 29 – BPAC website(external link)(external link) 

Prescriber and pharmacist requirements for section 29 medicines – Medsafe website(external link)(external link)

Medsafe’s section 29 Declaration / Notification Form [DOC](external link)(external link)

What patients need to know about unapproved medicines – Healthify website(external link)

Key dates

1 September 2023 – Colestyramine is listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule 

Late September 2023 Stock of Colestid was expected to run out in mid-late September 2023.

Early 2024 The Supplier of Colestyramine will apply to Medsafe for provisional registration. Until this is approved Colestyramine will need to prescribed under Section 29 authority.

Who to contact

If you have questions about this issue, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

Please include as much information as you can about the product (presentation, brand, pharmacode) and who your wholesaler is.  

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